It’s hard to believe that one man can change the fate of an entire village. Huang Yung-fu, an 86-year-old war veteran has done just this.
Huang lives in a village in a corner of the Taiwanese city of Taichung, a community that was created for Nationalist soldiers in the 1940s and 50s. Over the years, the place slowly changed into a permanent settlement, suffering from urban problems like abandonment, decay and housing dereliction. However, none of this is visible in the settlement today, thanks to the transformation brought about by Huang’s colorful paintings. The streets and the walls of practically every building in the village are covered with Huang’s simplistic paintings of plants, animals, TV personalities, birds and buffaloes. Considering the fact that he began painting only two years ago, his accomplishment is pretty huge. The bright colors and simple strokes used by Huang only add to the attractiveness of his work.
Born in Hong Kong, Huang is quite a healthy man for his age. He doesn’t drink alcohol, smoke, or gamble. He started painting just to kill time, but it has now become a passion for him. A self-taught artist, he started off painting for himself, but was soon discovered by students of a nearby university. They took pictures of his work and spread the word. The pictures soon went viral, making the small settlement a major tourist attraction in Taiwan. Rainbow Village is now listed as one of the must-see spots in Taichung City.